How To Use Your Right Brain For Language Learning
To be fair, most people probably dont give much consideration to the activation of their brain hemispheres when theyre learning a language they kind of just do it. But if youre into this kind of thing, some new research from the University of Delaware has upended the notion that language processing doesnt involve any right brain learning.
According to the study, which was published in the journal NeuroImage, the right brain may actually play a very important role in helping language learners familiarize themselves with the basic sounds and acoustic details of a new tongue otherwise known as phonemes despite the fact that the left brain has traditionally been considered the hub of language processing.
The left hemisphere is known as the language-learning part of the brain, but we found that it was the right hemisphere that determined the eventual success in learning Mandarin, said University of Delaware cognitive neuroscientist Zhenghan Qi.
This was new, she said. For decades, everyone has focused on the left hemisphere, and the right hemisphere has been largely overlooked.
Though more research still needs to be done in order to determine if this applies to all languages , there are ways to incorporate right brain learning into your language studies that weve already been advocating for quite some time.
Left Brain Vs Right Brain
By Eagle Gamma, published May 18, 2021
The brain consists of twin halves, a left hemisphere alongside a nearly symmetrical right hemisphere.
Hemispheric lateralization is the idea that both hemispheres are functionally different and that certain mental processes andbehaviours are mainly controlled by one hemisphere rather than the other.
The left hemisphere controls the right hand side of the body and receives information from the right visual field controlling speech,language and recognition of words, letters and numbers.
The right hemisphere controls the left hand side of the body and receives information from the left visual field controlling creativity,context and recognition of faces, places and objects.
According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory the left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks which are considered logical, rational, calculating.By contrast, the right side of the brain is best at artistic, creative, and spontaneous tasks
The Truth About The Left Brain / Right Brain Relationship
It’s time to rethink whatever you thought you knew about how the right and left hemispheres of the brain work together.hide caption
It’s time to rethink whatever you thought you knew about how the right and left hemispheres of the brain work together.
Sometimes ideas that originate in science seep out into the broader culture and take on a life of their own. It’s still common to hear people referred to as “anal,” a Freudian idea that no longer has much currency in contemporary psychology. Ideas like black holes and quantum leaps play a metaphorical role that’s only loosely tethered to their original scientific meanings.
What about the idea that some people are more right-brained and others more left-brained? Or that there’s a distinctive analytic and verbal style of thinking associated with the left hemisphere of the brain, and a more holistic, creative style associated with the right? Are these scientific facts or cultural fictions?
An infographic reproduced just last month at Lifehack.org, for example, promises to explain “why you act the way you do” by revealing “which side of your brain you tend to use more.” An article at Oprah.com explains “how to tap into right-brain thinking.” And decades of research using behavioral and neuro-scientific techniques do reveal fascinating and systematic differences across brain regions.
What’s surprised you most about the hemispheric asymmetries you’ve found in your own research?
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What Types Of Aphasia Are There
There are two broad categories of aphasia: fluent and nonfluent, and there are several types within these groups.
Damage to the temporal lobe of the brain may result in Wernicke’s aphasia , the most common type of fluent aphasia. People with Wernicke’s aphasia may speak in long, complete sentences that have no meaning, adding unnecessary words and even creating made-up words.
For example, someone with Wernicke’s aphasia may say, “You know that smoodle pinkered and that I want to get him round and take care of him like you want before.”
As a result, it is often difficult to follow what the person is trying to say. People with Wernicke’s aphasia are often unaware of their spoken mistakes. Another hallmark of this type of aphasia is difficulty understanding speech.
The most common type of nonfluent aphasia is Broca’s aphasia . People with Broca’s aphasia have damage that primarily affects the frontal lobe of the brain. They often have right-sided weakness or paralysis of the arm and leg because the frontal lobe is also important for motor movements. People with Broca’s aphasia may understand speech and know what they want to say, but they frequently speak in short phrases that are produced with great effort. They often omit small words, such as “is,” “and” and “the.”
Where Is Language Located In The Brain There Are Two Sides To This Story
Simple facts about the brain are rare, but one of them is that for most people language function is located mainly in their left brain hemisphere. The stats vary according to the measures used, but this is the situation for around 95 per cent of right-handers and approximately 75 per cent of left-handers. When it comes to the brain though, few things are straight-forward.
If we dig deeper, as and Alfredo Ardila have done for a new review paper, we find a more complex, two-sided story. The extent to which language is dominated by the left hemisphere is not fixed. It increases through childhood and adolescence, and then this trend reverses in old age, with signs of greater sharing of language function across the brain hemispheres in later life. Moreover, by characterising people in binary fashion as having their language abilities housed either in their left or right hemisphere, we ignore those people for whom language is a genuinely bilateral function, meaning that both brain hemispheres are substantially involved.
_________________________________ Byron Bernal and Alfredo Ardila . Bilateral representation of language: A critical review and analysis of some unusual cases. Journal of Neurolinguistics DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroling.2013.10.002
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General Inability To Speak And Understand Language
Widespread damage to the brains language centers can result in global aphasia. People with global aphasia will have an extremely hard time expressing and understanding language.
People with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimers disease, often experience loss of speech slowly over time. This is called primary progressive aphasia .
PPA is not Alzheimers disease but can be a symptom of Alzheimers disease. PPA can also be an isolated disorder without the other symptoms of Alzheimers disease. Some people with PPA have normal memories and can continue leisure activities and sometimes even work.
Unlike aphasia that results from stroke or brain trauma, PPA results from slow deterioration of one or more areas of the brain used in speech and language.
How Is Aphasia Treated
Following a brain injury, tremendous changes occur in the brain, which help it to recover. As a result, people with aphasia often see dramatic improvements in their language and communication abilities in the first few months, even without treatment. But in many cases, some aphasia remains following this initial recovery period. In these instances, speech-language therapy is used to help patients regain their ability to communicate.
Research has shown that language and communication abilities can continue to improve for many years and are sometimes accompanied by new activity in brain tissue near the damaged area. Some of the factors that may influence the amount of improvement include the cause of the brain injury, the area of the brain that was damaged and its extent, and the age and health of the individual.
Aphasia therapy aims to improve a person’s ability to communicate by helping him or her to use remaining language abilities, restore language abilities as much as possible, and learn other ways of communicating, such as gestures, pictures, or use of electronic devices. Individual therapy focuses on the specific needs of the person, while group therapy offers the opportunity to use new communication skills in a small-group setting.
Family involvement is often a crucial component of aphasia treatment because it enables family members to learn the best way to communicate with their loved one.
Family members are encouraged to:
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The Processing Activity Of Both Brain Hemispheres
The right side of the brain looks at the whole first before it breaks things down into parts. It is also random. A right-brained person is more likely to move from one task to the other completing the same amount of work done by a left-brained person but without paying attention to priorities. The right side likes everything to be concrete. It likes to be able to see, feel or touch the real object. It also likes context. Right-brained people are said to know what they mean but often have trouble in verbally expressing them.
The left brain, in contrast, processes information in a linear manner and from a part to a whole. It takes every piece of information, lines them up and then arranges them into a logical order before forming conclusions. It also processes in sequence, so tasks are finished in order. Left-brained people easily learn things in a sequence as they apply linear thinking. The left side of the brain processes symbols including letters, words and mathematical notations. Left-brained people are known to easily cope with mathematical and linguistic tasks and they have excellent verbal skills.
The Functions of the Right Brain
- Uses feelings
Analysis Of Familial Handedness
As Table 1 shows, there was a trend for subjects with a family history of left-handedness to have a higher incidence of right-hemisphere language dominance. ANOVA on the single and combined influences of familial handedness and handedness on language dominance was limited by the small subgroups and the skewed distribution of handedness and language dominance . The single influence of familial handedness and the combined influence of familial handedness and handedness on language dominance did not reach significance . Familial handedness only showed a significant effect on handedness .
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How To Use Right Brain Learning In Your Language Studies
- The main reason right brain learning worked in the context of the above study was because it aided in phoneme recognition. Thus, it stands to reason that simply familiarizing yourself with the way a language sounds can be extremely helpful when youre just starting out or really, at any stage in the learning process. Listening to foreign-language podcasts is a great way to tap into the auditory riches of a language in its natural-sounding glory and to absorb its elements by osmosis.
- Pictures are another key tool for right brain learning. If youre more of a visual learner, you can also create flashcards with images to help you memorize vocabulary terms.
- If you really want to get fancy, you can use the memory palace technique a method that relies on visual cues and spatial memory, which leans more heavily on right brain activity.
- To engage this part of your brain, youre going to want to focus less on specific grammatical rules and more on your ability to tell or understand a story in the language youre studying. Watching a foreign-language movie will not only expose you to the sounds of the language, but also to a more nonlinear instruction for how it can be used in a fictional scenario.
Disorders Of Speech & Language
Aphasia is the term used to describe an acquired loss of language that causes problems with any or all of the following: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Some people with aphasia have trouble using words and sentences . Some have problems understanding others . Others with aphasia struggle with both using words and understanding . Aphasia can cause problems with spoken language and written language . Typically, reading and writing are more impaired than talking or understanding. The severity of the aphasia depends on the amount and location of the damage to the brain.
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The Evolution Of Language
The auditory dorsal stream also has non-language related functions, such as sound localization and guidance of eye movements. Recent studies also indicate a role of the ADS in localization of family/tribe members, as a study that recorded from the cortex of an epileptic patient reported that the pSTG, but not aSTG, is selective for the presence of new speakers. An fMRI study of fetuses at their third trimester also demonstrated that area Spt is more selective to female speech than pure tones, and a sub-section of Spt is selective to the speech of their mother in contrast to unfamiliar female voices.
How Does The Brain Work
The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.
Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .
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Children Use Both Sides Of Brain For Language Unlike Adults
Researchers from Georgetown University medical center have found that young children use both the right and left sides of their brain to process language, unlike adults who almost exclusively use the right side.
For the study, the researchers recruited 39 healthy children aged between 4 and 13. They also analyzed 14 adults aged between 18 and 29. Each participant was given a sentence comprehension task while undergoing an fMRI scan to monitor their brain activity in each hemisphere.
The researchers then compared brain activity patterns between four age groups: 4-6, 7-9, 10-13, and 18-29. In the end, they found that, like in adults, the left hemisphere in young children tends to be more activated by language than the right hemisphere. In the youngest group of children, however, the researchers found that the right side of the brain was also similarly activated to the left when processing meaning.
For comparison, the same area of the right side of the brain, when activated in adults, corresponds more to processing emotions expressed by the voice, as opposed to the meaning of words. As such, the researchers say that in very young children, both hemispheres are involved both in comprehending verbal meaning and vocally-expressed emotion.
To see whether this is the case, the researchers are now investigating language activation in teenagers and young adults who experienced a major left hemisphere stroke early in life.
Your Language Control Center
The left hemisphere of the brain contains parts of the parietal lobe, temporal lobe and the occipital lobe, which make up your language control center. In these lobes, two regions known as the Wernicke area and the Broca area allow you to understand and recognize, read and speak language patterns — including the ability to learn foreign languages.
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Left And Right Brain Roles
Tracking activity in the brains of healthy people while theyre engaging in different tasks, as we do with neuroimaging, provides another, more modern window into laterality. For example, neuroimaging studies suggest that the two hemispheres might play different roles in emotion processing, with the left hemisphere showing somewhat greater activation for happy or positive emotions and the right hemisphere showing more activity during negative emotional processing.
One particularly interesting insight that neuroimaging has given us is the finding that white matter tracts, or the wiring diagram of the two hemispheres, is different. The wiring of the right hemisphere has been called more efficient because it has greater connectivity between regions.
Think of a city with a really good subway system, like Manhattan, making it easy to get from one side of the city to another. The left hemisphere, in contrast, seems to be more modular. Its more like a cluster of little cities operating more independently, like Los Angeles, where every mini-city has its own municipal transport system and the cities themselves are not well connected. Santa Monica and Beverly Hills have different governing bodies, so its hard to get from one to the other using public transportation.
Learn more about how your brain works
What Part Of The Brain Controls Speech
Your brain is responsible for nearly all functions of your body and for interpreting sensory information from the world around you.
Your brain has many parts but speech is primarily controlled by the largest part of the brain, the cerebrum.
The cerebrum can be divided into two parts, called hemispheres, which are joined by a band of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum.
Your speech is typically governed by the left side of your cerebrum. In about a third of people who are left-handed, however, speech may actually be controlled by the right side.
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The Lobes Of The Brain
Each hemisphere of the brain is divided into functional sections known as lobes. There are four lobes in each half of the brain. They are:
- Frontal lobe: Located at the front of the brain, right behind the forehead. The frontal lobe is quite large, occupying about one-third of the cerebral cortex’s total mass, and it controls personality, behavior, emotional regulation, and the ability to plan, solve problems, and organize.
- Parietal lobe: Located near the back and top of the head, above the ears. The parietal lobe controls the ability to read, write, and understand spatial concepts. The function of the left and right parietal lobes do not completely mirror each other, with the dominant parietal lobe controlling speech and logic, while the non-dominant parietal lobe controls spatial skills and creativity. In fact, a stroke affecting the non-dominant parietal lobe can produce its own set of problems, including disorientation and an inability to recognize one’s own body.
- Occipital lobe: A small region located at the back of the head. The occipital lobe is responsible for the integration of vision.
- Temporal lobe: Located at the side of the head above the ears and below the frontal lobe. The temporal lobe controls hearing, memory, speech, and comprehension.